All News Content

All News Content

Grant coming for King School

SPRINGFIELD – The check has not actually been written, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich has committed to releasing the funds to expand King School in Urbana, a spokesman for the governor confirmed Thursday.

"He did commit to that particular project," said Blagojevich spokesman Tom Schafer. "It did meet the criteria he set up."

Two meth-related bills become law

Police and state's attorneys will soon have some new weapons in the war against the explosive growth of methamphetamine manufacturers in East Central Illinois.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the two new meth-related bills into law this week.

County Democrats propose reforms

URBANA – Champaign County Board Democrats have proposed five sweeping reforms of county government, including proposals to eliminate three elected offices, do away with the co-administrator system and create an independent election commission that would remove election responsibilities from the county clerk's office.

The proposals were put forward this week at the board's Policy, Personnel and Appointments Committee meeting. They will come up for consideration at the Aug. 19 meeting of the committee.

Parkland rolls out tractors for fair event

CHAMPAIGN – Last year, proud Parkland College diesel power students put the final touches on their revamped red pulling tractor, Extra Credit, just in time for the fair season.

This year, they've added a green tractor they call Teacher's Pet to their power arsenal, and they're encouraging healthy debates about the merits of each.

Congressman plans town meetings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, will be holding a series of town meetings in the 15th District during the August congressional recess.

Congress is scheduled to adjourn Friday.

Blagojevich creates farm advisory council

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich is assembling a team to advise him on farms and farm families and to help the state's agriculture industry remain competitive.

"The well-being of our farmers and rural communities is vitally important to Illinois' economy," Blagojevich said. "Despite urban development, about 80 percent of Illinois' land – or 28 million acres – still is devoted to production agriculture. And our 78,000 farms provide the foundation for a multibillion-dollar industry that employs nearly one of every four Illinois workers."

Residents voice cat complaints

CHAMPAIGN – Jerry Laughlin thinks cats are popular pets for two-income families in his southwest Champaign neighborhood.

He can identify homes where cats live by looking for garage doors that are left just slightly open, a few inches off the ground, allowing cats to leave and enter at will while their owners are away at work.

State ag director visits county fair

URBANA – Chuck Hartke looked right at home in Champaign County Fair livestock barns Tuesday, handing out prizes, evaluating animals and sharing news and views with farmers in the crowd.

In fact, the state's new director of agriculture knows livestock and farming firsthand. Back home at Teutopolis, his family grows corn, soybeans and wheat, and his son, Christopher, raises hogs. The family also keeps a few sheep around, mostly for convenience.

Blagojevich signs 2 bills in visit to UI

URBANA – Gov. Rod Blagojevich was at the University of Illinois Tuesday to sign two bills he said would help parents put their children through college and keep universities accountable to taxpayers.

Blagojevich signed the so-called truth-in-tuition bill and another measure requiring line-item budgeting for state universities at the Illini Union, in a room filled with politicians, university administrators and high school students. Blagojevich's wife Patti, a UI alumnus, their 6-year-old daughter Amy and their infant daughter Annie were also with him.

Study finds county fees can't pay costs

URBANA – Champaign County could take in an extra $363,000 in fees by charging the actual cost of services at the sheriff's and county clerk's offices, a study says.

But while Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh is amenable to raising many of his office's fees to come close to covering actual costs, County Clerk Mark Shelden said he will oppose raising all but one of the fees his office charges.